TireNews July 2018
The July issue of TireNews is now available online. You can flip through it here, but first, a few words from the Editor in chief of TireNews, Jack Kazmierski.
Stick to the Truth
When dealing with retail customers, truth is always the best policy.
I recently had an interesting experience with a tire shop in my area, that made me wonder how many tire retailers are losing out on business because of strange claims made by frontline staff.
In short, I had the tires on my vehicles balanced a couple of times—once at a dealership, and once at an independent tire retailer—only to find that there was still a nasty vibration in the steering wheel at highway speeds.
So I called a manufacturer I know that makes excellent equipment for balancing wheel assemblies to find out who in my area had one of their machines, since I knew this would likely fix the problem (it did).
They gave me a name, I booked an appointment, and when I went in I explained the situation, joking that the vehicle feels fine until I hit about 130 km/hr, which is when the vibrations kick in. For the record, I was kidding. I expected the counterperson to chuckle, but instead he said, “We won’t balance it for those speeds. I’m not going to ask my guys to break the law.”
Law! What law?
Make no mistake, I admire the man’s ethics, and he’s clearly standing up to what he believes in. But does balancing a wheel for a customer who drives over 100 km/hr mean you’re breaking the law? Not any law I know of.
The whole scenario was a bit far fetched, and it left me wondering how many other customers feel that they’re either being lied to, or that the person behind the counter is making stuff up.
In this case, the idea that the tire techs were breaking the law didn’t affect the outcome. The tires were beautifully balanced, and I drove away perfectly happy. But had the result been less than perfect, I would have wondered if this counter person’s ethics affected the outcome. Like most Canadian consumers, I would have said nothing, and likely searched for another shop to do business with.
The result? Lost business for that shop, without the owner knowing why. The bottom line is simple: If you’re in the retail business, you’ll want to know what your frontline workers are saying to customers, especially when faced with questions that they’re not 100 percent ready to answer.
Today’s savvy consumers can smell a lie or a half-truth a mile away, and you could be losing business you don’t even know about.